Do you wonder what happened to the closeness between you and your partner that now feels like distance and loneliness? Do you recall the hopes and dreams you had for the life you would live together and wonder where they’ve gone? Did you believe the safety and openness you initially experienced would last for a lifetime, yet you no longer feel either one?
Because all humans need connection with one or more significant people in their lives, establishing and maintaining strong relationships is important. Working with a trained professional counselor can help you deal with hurts and reestablish bonds with your loved one or you can work towards greater marriage enrichment.
Look around and you will see that you are not alone.
Marriages and other relationships may not survive the low relationship satisfaction that can result from a variety of factors. These factors may include outside stress, the first years of becoming parents, a connection that has gradually frayed, infidelity, broken trust, feeling unimportant in the relationship, intrusions of extended families, intrusions of past experiences from childhood or prior relationships, and others.
Thus, many committed relationships end, either by divorce, separation, or emotional distancing. Eventually this disconnection in a primary relationship is likely to affect how we think of ourselves and may limit or otherwise change how we show up in the world outside of our primary relationship. Any one of these scenarios is costly – both in terms of money and emotional wellbeing, for the couple and for others who are close to them. That’s why couples counseling can be so important.
We value relationships.
Our goal is to help couples navigate the difficulties of their relationships; improve communication; and to build stronger, more empathetic, and more resilient bonds. We approach couples counseling with a desire to understand the dynamics of the relationship itself as well as the experience of each party in the relationship. Given the complexities of relationships, it’s a wonder they work at all. Each partner enters the relationship with his or her own unique personality style, distinct family of origin issues, various life experiences and past wounds, separate expectations, and needs that may be in opposition to the other person’s needs. Often this complexity and the inherent differences that each person brings into the relationship create either dissatisfaction or painful interactions.
We are sensitive to and respect the needs of a variety of types of couples’ relationships. These include couples in traditional, same-sex marriages or committed relationships; couples who base their relationship on Christian or other spiritual values; couples who are maneuvering conflicting ethnicities; and gay and lesbian couples.
You may wonder if couples counseling is worth the commitment of time and money.
When you consider the costs of counseling, keep in mind the cost of divorce for those whose marriages end. The average cost of a divorce in America is $18,000, according to some sources. Others estimate the average cost to be even higher.
Improving relationship satisfaction is difficult. Research shows that couples come to counseling about seven years after problems surface. Therefore, couples counseling requires patience, dedication, and commitment to stay the course. While there are no guarantees, counseling has helped lots of couples create more secure bonds. Studies have shown that couples who achieve and maintain closeness benefit from better physical and emotional health, improved financial status, reduced stress, and children who are often more successful academically and have fewer mental health problems.
Does couples counseling really work?
Counseling is a means to safely explore what is pulling you away from each other and to focus on the strengths each person possesses to work through these difficulties. Because many of our clients live very busy lives, they often find that their counseling sessions are valuable in helping them set aside time to focus on their relationship and to learn to better understand each other.
While each of our counselors has different styles and training, we are each skilled at helping couples heal and reconnect. We draw on the research-based work of both Emotionally Focused Therapy by Dr. Sue Johnson and The Gottman Method by Dr. John Gottman. Each of these modalities gives us a roadmap for working with couples and for improving the odds of success in counseling. One way to look at these two modalities is that The Gottman Method helps us make sense of what has gone wrong in the relationship and Emotionally Focused Therapy looks at the process of healing and reconnecting. There is no need to give up. There is hope.
Deepen Your Understanding of Each Other
In addition to couples counseling, we also offer a powerful personality assessment called The Birkman Method®. Using The Birkman Method® we can identify those innate personality qualities each of you has that bump up against each other. We can assist you in creating strategies to manage differences in a positive way.